Positive results for the 39th edition of Marmomacc, the International Exhibition of Marble, Natural Stone and Technology, were reported after the four-day exhibition ended on Sunday, October 10, 2004. The show, which is held annually in Verona, Italy, set the stage for business exchanges, commercial contacts and professional training.

According to statistics, the 2004 event experienced significant growth from previous years, with more than 60,000 visitors -- an increase of about 10% from 2003 -- of whom more than 30% were international from 110 countries. Additionally, there were almost 1,500 exhibitors -- including approximately 900 Italian and 600 international firms -- from 47 countries. The entire show covered a net area of nearly 670,000 square feet.

Exhibits included natural stone in a broad range of forms, including blocks, slabs, tiles, cut-to-size work and mosaics. On the machinery side, there were exhibitors of stoneworking equipment such as saws, polishers and computerized stoneworking centers, as well as tools such as diamond blades, polishing pads, router bits and cupwheels. Finally, installation and maintenance products such as stone sealers, adhesives, cleaners and grouts were also on display in Verona.

Trends at the show were numerous. In the natural stone arena, there seemed to be an increase in the popularity of stone mosaics, which took on a range of standard and custom formats. Of course, slab choices from around the world are also increasing, with new golden varieties from nations such as Brazil. Also, natural stone materials with blue accents or “spectralites” were also in abundance, as the industry continues to show its willingness to pay a premium for any material with a “true” blue color.

In the area of machinery, many new bridge saws and polishers were introduced, and several of these new offerings include a higher degree of computerization than previous models. There were also advances in stoneworking accessories, including items for polishing, cutting and shaping.

The stone installation and maintenance sector also viewed Marmomacc as an opportunity to display their latest offerings, with new products geared especially to today's preferred stone types, finishes and applications.

International promotion

Show organizer VeronaFiere -- appointed in 1999 as an official “education provider” for the AIA (American Institute of Architects) and in 2003 for RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) -- this year invited about 100 qualified architects from all over the world to study the characteristics and languages of stone as well as its past applications and potential future applications. Also, Marmomacc 2004 welcomed approximately 30 international delegations, with thousands of designers and various association and government representatives, in particular from China.

For the first time, Italian and Chinese trade associations met to discuss the situation in the field and to seek points of agreement over international trade and competition, where China is one of the determined competitors. “We are delighted in achieving this objective,” said Luigi Castelletti, president of VeronaFiere. “All parameters attained growth. This is an impressively positive outcome that goes against the trends, given the general situation in the exhibition market. The sector is showing clear signs of recovery -- highlighted by the visitors present -- and this is very encouraging, not the least in view of the importance of the Veneto-Veronese stone district, which is still today one of the most important in the world. As for infrastructure, we will launch a series of investments in order to be able to welcome even more exhibitors, resolve waiting lists and ensure even better services [in future exhibitions].”

According to Director General Giovanni Mantovani, VeronaFiere also plans to further its promotional efforts, particularly in the U.S. and Eastern Europe. “Our objective is to accompany companies in such markets and support them in their internationalization process,” he said. “We must be the link between companies and the end consumer.”

Honoring industry leaders

Once again, Marmomacc crowned new stone “Masters,” an initiative of the Ancient Free Corp. of Stone Arts. The awards, which traces their origins to the Middle Ages and the times of Cangrande della Scala, are presented to entrepreneurs in the marble and granite field, including sculptors, builders of machines and tools, international commercial operators, technicians and journalists whose efforts have helped promote the important “Made in Italy” aspect of the industry.

The Ancient Free Corp. of Stone Arts, guided by a committee of authoritative exponents in the stone industry, including Cesare Bellamoli, Gino Bombana, Onorio Bombieri, Aldo Breoni, Adriano Segattini and the president of Veronafiere, Luigi Castelletti. The prestigious “cube” (the historic emblem of the corporation) and a silver plaque were awarded to an architect, a journalist and four entrepreneurs who are particularly distinguished in their respective professional fields by their dedication to the development of the field.

The recipients of the 2004 awards went to: Paolo Portoghesi, an Italian architect who is a key figure in contemporary architecture and one of the main interpreters of the international trend founded on research into an intimate relationship between architecture and nature; Robert Tollet, a Belgian economist and president of the Belgian Central Council for the Economy as well as president of the Royal Commission for Monuments, Sites and Excavations of the Walloons Region; Wolfgang Bachmann, a German journalist and editor-in-chief of Baumeister Magazine, the second oldest architecture magazine in Germany, founded in 1913.

Additionally, awards were also presented to Cypriot entrepreneur Pantelis Pashias who has been active in the stone sector for more than 30 years, and Italian Lucia Brunelli in recognition of significant entrepreneurial activity carried forward with determination and tenacity with sister Milva in the heart of Valpantena.

Finally, Giorgio Zusi, an editor from Italy, was recognized as a founder of a publishing house in 1962. Zusi also was one of the founders of the Ancient Free Corp. of Masters of Stone, with two of the best known and historic sector magazines: L'Informatore del Marmista and Marmor.

U.S. architects speak

Focusing on the use of natural stone in the American market, two renowned U.S. architects -- Alan Ritchie and Chung Chien Pei -- gave theoretical lectures at Marmomacc for approximately 60 designers from all over the world.

“Italy boasts a great historical tradition embracing both products and equipment, and the former are held in high regard on the American market for external applications, cladding and flooring, as well as for aesthetically sophisticated design and economic advantages,” explained Pei, director of the development project for the head offices of the Bank of China in Beijing, China, as well as major stone projects in the U.S. “Americans like and buy Italian stone.”

Ritchie -- who has designed prestigious projects in the U.S. such as the Chrysler Center and the AT & T World Headquarters in New York -- fully agreed. “Marble and granite perfectly interpret the needs and tastes of American consumers, seeking quality products that are easy to purchase, especially from Italy, through a distribution network in the U.S.”

Natural Stone, Marmomacc and the AIA: A winning combination for architects

The sixth edition of the Veronafiere-AIA Continuing Education Seminar on stone was held in October in Verona, Italy, during Marmomacc, a leading international exhibition of marble, stone and related technology. Through an intensive four-day learning experience, U.S., Scandinavian, Canadian, German, British and Ukrainian architects studied stone usage and methods of application in classroom seminars and site visits.

Gail Cavanagh of Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott in Boston, MA, said it all: “I learned a lot and aspire to use some of those beautiful stones we were able to see. I would recommend this seminar experience to anyone.”

Other participants shared Cavanagh's enthusiasm about the program. “I have been all over the world to stone events,” said Darrell Petit of Darrell Petit LLC in Stony Creek, CT. “This was the best organized and most interesting.”

“Not only would I recommend this experience to anyone, but I would go again in a heartbeat,” said Samuel Herpin of Remson-Haley Architects in Baton Rouge, LA.

On the first day, the architects visited a marble quarry and a factory for Vicenza Yellow Stone. Over the following days, seminars on materials, techniques and selection were offered, together with guided field trips to historic villas, stone workshops, points of interest in Verona, and a thorough exploration of many of Marmomacc's more than 1,300 exhibits.

“Realizing the vastness and importance of the stone industry in Italy will most assuredly help my practice,” said Don Newman of RightSpec in Seattle, WA. “Seeing it all with guides allowed for an amazingly rich experience.”

Veronafiere, an AIA CES provider, accepts only 15 U.S. architects each year for this program. Architects compete for scholarships that cover tuition, meals, hotel accommodations and local transportation. Participants are responsible for their own transportation between the U.S. and Verona as well as an administrative fee of $300.

The course, which was co-sponsored by Stone World, will be offered again during the next Marmomacc, September 29 to October 2, 2005. More information can be obtained by contacting the U.S. coordinator, Julie Buss at: jbuss@cig-dc.com.

A sampling of the exhibitors at Marmomacc 2004 Stone Suppliers

Alony Marble -- promoted Jerusalem Antique marble available in many finishes, including honed, brushed, polished, tumbled and split as well as sandblasted and acid washed
Circle No. 280

Antolini Luigi - Breche Meduse marble, which is shades of brown, tan and black, with distinctive patterning
Circle No. 279

Basaranlar -- Ravenna Rosa, which has solid shades of light rust and salmon
Circle No. 278

Bermarmol -- promoted its 40 years as a supplier of natural stone; offered a range of products, many from its own quarries, including Crema Marfil, Marron Imperial, Crema Beida, Amarillo Rey, Lago Rosa and Travertino Crema
Circle No. 277

Brazil Stone Corp. -- Verde Pacifico granite, which has a dark green color with flecks of light red and black
Circle No. 276

BMS/Simonelli -- offered its unique Venezian surface finish on stone tiles; after the tiles are given the finish, which gives an aged appearance to the tiles with minimal maintenance concerns, they are treated with a color-enhancing sealer and also feature accent grooves that can be filled with grout, as desired
Circle No. 275

Brachot Hermant -- Blue Pearl DB (Dark Blue) granite from Norway; the granite, along with the rest of the company's stone products, is available with the “Anciento” finish, which adds a unique texture to the surface
Circle No. 274

Brazil Quarries -- granite varieties from Brazil, including Diamond White and Giallo Napoleone; also announced that the company established a new stockyard in Vitoria
Circle No. 273

Bruno Zanet -- Verde Gloria granite, which is dark green with straight, consistent vening; Honey granite, which has shades of gold, yellow and tan
Circle No. 272

Caesarstone -- new pastel colors of quartz surfacing; also, quartz surfacing varieties that can be backlit
Circle No. 271

Campolonghi -- Ice Pearl, which has a white surface with accents of light blue, black and reddish purple
Circle No. 270

Cosentino -- offered a collection of Silestone products, including new colors such as Blanco Zeus (white), Blanco Norte (speckled) and Green River (a blend of dark and lighter shades of green)
Circle No. 269

Cremar -- Typhoon Green, which has sections of dark and light green with Maroon accents
Circle No. 268

Dimpomar -- displayed a wide array of marble and limestone from Portugal, including Rosa Aurora, Rosal and Moca Crème; materials are available in slabs, calibrated tiles and cut-to-size pieces for commercial and residential projects
Circle No. 267

Edilgraniti -- Austral Coffee granite from Australia, which has deep tones of brown and tan, with accents of black and heightened shading
Circle No. 266

Frugoli -- “Earth Wind & Fire,” a granite with alternating shades of green, red and dark brown; Golden Sun granite, which is yellow with rust accents
Circle No. 265
Gem Granites -- showcased Brown Labrador and Green Labrador granite, which come from two different quarries in India; also displayed White Forest granite, a white stone with speckles of black and green
Circle No. 264

Graninter -- promoted Ivory Pink granite, consisting of a peach tone with shades of rust, tan, gray and beige, with white veins running throughout
Circle No. 263

Granitex -- Colonial Gold granite, which has shades of light and dark gold with rust-colored accents; Golden Persa, which has deeper golden tones and distinctive patterning
Circle No. 262

Green Slate Mining -- displayed a range of slate from its various quarries in Brazil; colors include darker and lighter shades of black, gray, green, red and multicolor
Circle No. 261

Grein Italia -- featured a range of stone, including Jade Blue granite, consisting of a green field with flecks of blue and yellow, and Rainbow, comprised of wild patterning of shades of golden beige and burgundy
Circle No. 260

IGM of Italy -- pure Lapis Lazuli from Brazil, available in slabs
Circle No. 259

International Italmarmi -- Sodalite Blue Royal from South America; English Grey Fossil stone, quarried in Derbyshire, England, as well as White Onyx from Turkey
Circle No. 258

JMS -- offered a wide selection of Jura stone, including Jura Beige, a classic color possessing a great deal of strength; Jura Melange, a blend of shades of beige and gray; and Bavarian Gold, which is quarried from the upper layers of the Jura quarries
Circle No. 257

Juma -- offered German marble from the Bavaria region as well as an assortment of granite from all over the world
Circle No. 256

La Ponte Marmi -- Labradorite Bianca, which has a surface of white and light gray with true blue accents; Yellow Rain, which has a distinctive pattern of yellow and gold
Circle No. 255

Levantina de Granitos -- introduced its new finish “Riverwashed,” which is reminiscent of the natural look of stone shaped by water
Circle No. 254

Levantina Natural Stone -- promoted its BrightMarble collection of natural stone, featuring an assortment of stone varieties such as Negro Marquina and Rojo Coralito marble
Circle No. 253

M+Q -- Onyx Passion, which is deep brown and gold and can be backlit to create a dramatic effect
Circle No. 252

Madhav Marbles & Granites Ltd. -- a range of green marble from India, including Forest Green, Emerald Green and Madhav Green
Circle No. 251

MAP -- offered a series of mosaics and borders, which can be customized to meet specific design requirements; the collection consists of various types of slate and quartzite from Brazil
Circle No. 250

Marmi Mecca -- showcased Juparana Florencia granite, featuring a blend of pink and peach hues, and Arandis granite, comprised of a background of brownish swirls with deposits of darker brown flecks
Circle No. 249

Mazzuchelli -- Carrara White C and CD marble ideal for architectural work
Circle No. 248

Mermertay -- Kremna travertine, which has a dark tan color with straight, consistent white veining
Circle No. 247

Micapel -- introduced a new mosaic collection, featuring Brazilian slate and quartzite; the new line allows for colors and stones to be mixed and matched, and also includes borders
Circle No. 246

Michelangelo -- displayed Black Diamond granite, a stone with a solid field of black accented by white veining; introduced a new red marble from Brazil, which features a red background with flecks of white
Circle No. 245

Orodizzi Porfidi -- a full range of porphyry products, suitable for exterior paving in a variety of patterns in tones such as gray, multi-color and maroon
Circle No. 244

Pavlidis -- showcased white marble from its quarries in Greece as well as granites such as Gold Star, featuring a golden background with flecks of rust, brown and hints of white, and Emerald Pearl, a deep green stone with accents of lighter shades of green
Circle No. 243

Pemagran -- the Ibere line of granite products from Brazil, including stones such as Ibere Montana Silver, with shades of silver and gold, Ibere Golden, with a rich, deep golden tone, and Ibere Montana Green, which has shades of yellow and light green, with darker accents
Circle No. 242

Peval -- introduced Green Wave and Ravel granite -- both quarried in Brazil; Green Wave features consistent “waves” of light green shades, and Ravel consists of dark maroon and light green stripes
Circle No. 241

Pokarna -- promoted two varieties of green granite from India; Magic Green features a field of deep shades of green, which is complemented by “waves” of blue, while Web Green is a green-colored stone with light green veining resembling a spider's web
Circle No. 240

Polycor -- the full line of marble products from Georgia Marble for items such as kitchen countertops, including White Cherokee
Circle No. 239

Qualita -- Cosmic Brushed and Cosmic Polished, which are black and gray with heavy patterning
Circle No. 238

R.E.D. Graniti -- a selection of marble and granite from around the world, including Brazil, Australia and Finland
Circle No. 237

Rock of Ages Corp. -- announced that it is a supplier of Canadian Mahogany and Pine Green granite, both quarried in Kenora in the province of Ontario, Canada by Nelson Granite; the company is an exclusive distributor for Pine Green blocks outside of North America; Pine Green granite features an olive green background with dark green and white flecks
Circle No. 236

Seieffe -- displayed Okite, a specially developed quartz-based stone with 93% quartz and 7% polyester resin, available in 94 different colors and sold primarily as 120- x 55-inch slabs
Circle No. 235

Sigma -- Golden Light granite, which has a rich gold color with distinctive veining
Circle No. 234
Silkar Mining -- the Mediterranean collection of mosaics, depicting marine, floral and architectural details, using shades of blue, green and other colors
Circle No. 233

Stone Suppliers -- Crema Maya marble from Guatemala, which is light beige with subtle veining
Circle No. 232

Tekmar -- a variety of Turkish marble such as Rosalia Light, a soft blend of beige with hints of burgundy veining; Tekmar Dove, featuring a light-colored stone with subtle color variations; and Rosa Tea, consisting of a salmon-colored background with swirls of lighter beige and cream tones peeking through
Circle No. 231

Tem-Mer -- Rosalia Light, Crema Golden and Crema Nuova, all of which have a rich beige tone with highlights to add life; Crema-Tem, a new beige material
Circle No. 230

Tracomal -- Giallo Nathalia Oro granite, which has a deep golden tone with flecks of white and black; Blue Night granite, which has waves of light and dark green with red accents; Red Dragon granite, which is dark red and maroon with waves of black and flecks of white
Circle No. 229

Tureks -- Golden Ruby and Seashell limestone
Circle No. 228

Equipment Manufacturers

Burkhardt -- the Mod. BS 600 bridge saw
Circle No. 227

Breton -- the NC399 Computer Numerically Controlled stoneworking center, which is similar to the NC260 with a higher Z stroke for carving big pieces such as sinks
Circle No. 226

Cam Tech Industries -- promoted its line of LaserMaster CNC laser-etching and cutting machines, including the L20, M20 and L5; also introduced the LaserMaster L30, the company's most advanced machine to date
Circle No. 225

Cemar -- the Plathons bridge saw, which has a carriage with inclination of 0 to 90 degrees, a manual rotating table measuring 138 x 70 inches, blade diameter of 39 1⁄2 inches, maximum cutting depth of 15 1⁄2 inches and blade motor power of 30 horsepower
Circle No. 224

CMS/Brembana -- offered the Flexa 625 bridge saw
Circle No. 223

Denver -- demonstrated its multi-functional 3-axis CNC machine that offers cutting, shaping and polishing on both internal and external shapes as well as performing sink cut-outs
Circle No. 222

Diamant Boart -- the Magnum CL blade, which has a 20-mm diamond segment height
Circle No. 221

Diasonic -- the Baramgebi blade, which has a 3⁄8 -inch-wide diamond segment and a high slope to maximize impact and cool-down
Circle No. 220

Flow International -- displayed products for industrial waterjet cutting
Circle No. 219

Ghines -- the “HD Set” of new hydraulic portable machines, with a single, 4 kW drive-unit operating five different machines; included is the Sector HC portable, the Vektor portable stonecutter, an angle grinder, and the Symbio-Drive and Symbio-Matic machines that execute sink cut-outs with a chain
Circle No. 218

GMM -- displayed the Rotex 39 bridge saw with rotating working head of 180 degrees
Circle No. 217

Intermac - the Master Stone 1500 OT 3-axis CNC router, which is capable of routing as well as internal and external edging, sink cutouts, drain boards and cutting
Circle No. 216

Italdiamant -- offered a collection of diamond stone processing tools, including dry cutting blades, diamond segments, drill bits, grinding cups and floor polishing pads
Circle No. 215

Levi Tunisi -- promoted the LT 162 straight-line edging machine
Circle No. 214

Löffler -- a complete, integrated countertop manufacturing solution, including EasyTops software to handle all CAD programming, drawings and pricing; a CPSI (Continuous Processing System) that allows one operator to cut three or four slabs to size per hour; and edge processing on the Vario 6 edger or the LBZ DT dual-table CNC machining center
Circle No. 213

Marmoelettromeccanica -- the Dynamic bridge saw, which has a high-quality linear slide with roller and ball bearing systems on all axes (x, y, z); this system guarantees precision, vibration-free cuts, increased life of blades and reduced maintenance, with a smaller footprint to reduce the amount of space required in the shop
Circle No. 212
Marmo Meccanica -- introduced the LTT 621 rectilinear, continuous processing polishing machine for rounded and flat edges up to 6 cm thickness
Circle No. 211

Omag -- the Mill 98, a numerically controlled machine with three to six controlled axes, and can execute shaping, contouring, milling, engraving, polishing and turning
Circle No. 210

Pedrini -- the Lux M920GR bridge saw for marble and granite, with a cast iron bridge and automatic PLC-controlled cycle programming
Circle No. 209

Pellegrini Meccanica -- the Waterstorm-Master, an automatic, high-speed plant for rough surface treatment of stone using high-pressure water; the treated surface has a natural rough appearance, and both the color and structure of the stone are heightened
Circle No. 208

Prussiani -- the Champion 5, a patented 5-Axis CNC stoneworking center, which can operate completely automatically; the unit cuts with digitized files, including the rodding reinforcement channels, and is engineered to save time, money and space
Circle No. 207

Simec -- the River bridge saw, engineered for optimum speed, power and flexibility, available in versions with discs measuring 725 or 1,200 mm in diameter; the motorized inclination of the spindle from 0 to 50 degrees and the table with automatic rotation make it extremely practical, even when performing complex work
Circle No. 206

Tenax -- new brushes with embedded diamonds (opposed to carborundum varieties), allowing the brush to dig deep into granite surfaces and resulting in a brushed, antique finish that is rich in color and has a soft feeling to the touch; the surface is close to a higher grit compared to a honed finish, meaning that the material is less porous and more suitable also for kitchen countertops; available in two shapes, Airflex and Filoflex, in different sizes and grains and manufactured on a Frankfurt holder, a Fickert holder, a snail lock attachment holder or a Velcro back
Circle No. 205

Thibaut -- the T55 Advance edge profiler, which can be equipped with 7 to 16 tools and can work with plates or wheels; the TC04 Computer Numerically Controlled bridge saw
Circle No. 204

Tyrolit Vincent -- offered a line of resin bond cup wheels for squaring; diamond saws with fast-lowering frames that offer precise cutting; and three metal-bonded diamond profiling wheels perfectly matched to three diamond polishing positions -- the fourth metal-bonded wheel is optional
Circle No. 203

Z. Bavelloni -- the Egar 323/5 CNC multi-purpose stoneworking machine, which operates on five axes for larger pieces and slanted drainboards; the machine can hold 30 tools and can work pieces as large as 118 x 90.5 inches as well blocks up to 23.6 inches
Circle No. 202

Installation and
Maintenance Products

Akemi -- Anti-Slip R9, which produces an anti-slip effect on smooth polished and glazed surfaces that become too smooth when they are wet; introduced Akepox® 1009, a color-preserving epoxy system for quality improvement of light-colored natural stone; also introduced Akemi® Stain Repellent Super, an impregnator against stains that repels water, grease and oil
Circle No. 298

Bellinzoni -- greeted visitors with warm hospitality and fine Italian wine and Parmesan cheese when promoting its newest product, Aquapox, a water-based epoxy surface treatment that improves the surface of stone while consolidating the stone; Aquapox penetrates deeply into the stone during the curing process and is polished to a hone or shine, depending upon preference; the product allows the fabricator to use stone that, without treatment, would be impossible to fabricate; maintenance of the finish is simple with Mythos, a silicone-based floor polish that is impervious to heavy foot traffic and restores the luster to damaged floors, reports the company
Circle No. 297

Fila -- a new catalog to guide users on which products are most appropriate for various stone materials and surface finishes
Circle No. 296

Trade Shows
and Associations

Marble Institute of America -- promoted the associations products and services, including its design manuals, literature and CD-ROM products
Circle No. 295

Milanez & Milaneze -- promoted the 18th International Fair of Marble & Granite, which is set to take place from February 22 to 25, 2005, in Vitoria, Brazil
Circle No. 294

Nürnberg Messe -- announced dates for the next Stone+Tec event in Nürnberg, Germany, which will take place from May 25 to 28, 2005
Circle No. 293